Troubled NHL star Evander Kane revealed that he had frequently bet with illegal bookmakers while he was battling his gambling addiction, claiming to have placed up to 50 wagers every day.
The Edmonton Oilers left winger, who is now 31-years-old, filed for bankruptcy in January 2021, listing $26.8 million in debt, despite having signed a $49 million contract with the San Jose Sharks just three years prior. This was shortly after his agreement was terminated due to him submitting a fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination card.
Kane’s attorney stated in post-trial briefs to a San Jose bankruptcy court that the lack of documentation related to his betting was because it was mainly done with unlawful bookmakers, who “functioned in a manner intended to evade record keeping” and change their URLs “every two to six months.”
The NHL player is said to have paid off gambling debts with cash, wire transfers, cashier’s checks, bank drafts, and even jewelry, with reports suggesting that he once settled a $75,000 debt with two Rolex watches.
Centennial Bank, Kane’s biggest lender, is challenging his bankruptcy filing, claiming that he has not kept detailed financial records, which is a requirement under bankruptcy law. To defend this, his lawyers have highlighted his challenging upbringing, as well as his lack of education.
Between 2014 and 2019, it is reported that Kane borrowed $50 million to settle gambling debts and other loans. He took out 26 loans with institutional lenders, and seven loans from private individuals, which included $1.1 million from two “middlemen” for bookies.
The sportsman is believed to have made a salary of $7 million per year, however his monthly income is now said to be -$91,131.13, with seven dependents residing in his home, including his parents, two uncles, and a grandmother.
Kane’s gambling issues were first brought to the public’s attention in November 2019, when the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas sued him for $500,000 in unpaid casino markers. The case was dropped the following April, presumably due to him paying the debt.